Circuit Protection Review Latest News

White Paper Shows Machine Builders How to Improve Reliability and Safety Through Appropriate Circuit Protection

Eaton has published a new white paper entitled ‘Protecting man and machine against damaging residual currents’.

The paper outlines the functions and types of Residual Current Devices (RCDs), and demonstrates how machine builders can improve both reliability and safety, while saving time and money for themselves and their customers during export of equipment.

It is the first white paper from the power management company in a series of three discussing the subject of RCDs. It offers useful guidance for machine and system builders seeking to understand the issues involved in selecting and installing RCDs. It also reviews the devastating effects of an electrical current on the human body, the functioning of RCDs, their installation and role within an overall protection strategy.

“It is critical that machine builders thoroughly understand the electrical faults that can impact the machine and the manufacturing process. This paper is an essential read for those who want to make sure they are using the correct technologies while adhering to local legislation,” said Chris Pack, Field Product Manager. “Only then can they improve efficiencies and profitability at the same time as protecting operators.”

RCDs detect and react to residual currents, protecting people from harm, reducing machine downtime and eliminating fire risks. These currents can occur for many reasons and take differing forms, making it essential to choose the right RCD with the correct tripping characteristics. Installing an incorrect RCD may not protect from a real fault condition or cause nuisance tripping leading to lost production time.

With differing standards and codes worldwide, an exporting machine builder has to ensure that the RCD conforms to those international standards. The correct selection of a global product will avoid wasted time and additional costs. The white paper also reviews, in detail, the differing residual current waveforms that are generated and discusses the appropriate type of RCD to be used to detect and respond to them.

Additionally the paper examines various electrical problems that can occur and what machine builders need to consider when specifying RCDs. This includes how normal earth leakage currents are additive to fault currents, how high load currents can cause nuisance tripping and what devices offer protection against this in case of transient earth leakage currents.  The paper outlines the possible consequences of when an electric current is allowed to flow along inappropriate paths.

“Such risks must therefore be eliminated both for health and safety reasons and to ensure maximum productivity and machine uptime,” continued Chris Pack. “Selecting the correct circuit protection will enable the machine builder to achieve this.”

In addition to RCDs, Eaton boasts a unique range of market-leading circuit protection products and solutions including MCB, MCCB, ACB, fuses and hydro-magnetic circuit breakers. As such, it is ideally positioned to help machine builders from specification and selection, through to installation and maintenance.

The white paper is available free to download from


Tags: White papers, RCD Protection, Circuit Protection News,